The price of the laboratory fermentor and bioreactor plays a major role to win the bid.
Therefor, some producers try to lower the initial selling price by supplying equipment and components with minimal value. Whereas, LAMBDA Laboratory Instruments, manufacturer and supplier of MINIFOR fermentor-bioreactor, offer high quality components which in turn reduce long-term costs and therefore, the total cost of your laboratory.
Today, the cost of wages, of laboratory bench-space and infrastructure are orders of magnitude larger than the acquisition costs of a laboratory fermenter or bioreactor. Unaware clients who decide to buy lower priced instruments without consideration of the much lower value obtained, future costs and lower efficiency of such material which inevitably will decrease the productivity of the experimental work for years.
To distinguish the initial low cost reactors from actually least priced bioreactors in the long run, you will find the following guide with price differences of what you get for the money in the low cost instrument and long-term costs in USD ($) for each quality characteristic.
If the proposed fermentor has only a mechanical seal, lip seal etc. with rotational mixing, it has lower value compared to instruments with magnetic seal or LAMBDA membrane physical seal.A magnetic coupling or a LAMBDA sterile membrane with vibromixer stand for a contamination-free fermentation.
Rotameter / MASSFLOW:
When your fermentor has only floating ball flow rate measurement (rotameter) compared to an exact mass flow electronic system allowing a recording and a reproducible setting of the gas flow. For automation, considerable and hidden additional costs can be expected.
Manual DO control:
When your system has only manual flow air control when comparing to instruments with automatic, electronic and proportional air valve. This allows controlling DO by airflow variation and not only by stirring speed.
If your system requires the acquisition of new sets of probes and head plate when you wish to use vessels of different volumes.
When your system does not allow exact measurement of biologic activity compared with systems which allow this (for e.g. LAMBDA INTEGRATOR)
If your system requires a circulating water bath and jacketed vessel when compared to systems with radiation temperature control.
Fixed speed peristaltic pumps:
Per pump, if pumps delivered with your system have only on/off control at fixed speed as compared to systems like LAMBDA peristaltic pumps where the speed control is regulated in range 1: 1’000 and which can also be used separately from the fermentor.
For each stirring device necessary to adapt the system to prokaryotic or eukaryotic cultures.
For the individual control of each parallel vessel (usually only sequentially controlled), compared to systems with precise and constant control of each vessel such as the LAMBDA MINIFOR
Per each m2 of lab bench surface used by the fermenter. People often ignore that the lab bench surface is the most expensive surface in the world. A larger foot-print of the fermentor costs proportionally more money each month. With only 0.1 m 2 footprint, LAMBDA MINIFOR is several times more compact than any other fermentor system.
Cleaning & setting up:
Time spent for dismantling, cleaning and setting-up of the laboratory fermenter increases considerably the project costs. Big savings can be achieved when setting time is of only about 10 minutes. See e.g. the installation video of the LAMBDA MINIFOR: www.lambda-instruments.com/fermenter-bioreactor/#video
For systems using consumable parts (such as O-rings, seals, etc.) compared with fermentation systems using permanent parts like the LAMBDA MINIFOR.
Various additional costs arise due to mistakes resulting from the complexity of the fermenter system. One should always prefer efficient, compact and simple technical solutions (number of cables, tubings, o-rings, screws to be fixed, connections etc.)